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How to Choose the Right Footwear for Your Kids

As parents, we want the best for our children, especially when it comes to their health and well-being. One aspect of their health that is often overlooked is their feet. Children’s feet are constantly growing and changing, and they need proper footwear to support their development and prevent foot problems. In this article, we will share some tips on how to choose the right footwear for your kids, and what to look out for when buying shoes.

Why is Footwear Important for Kids?


Footwear is important for kids because it can affect their foot health, posture, gait, and comfort. Shoes that are too tight, too loose, too rigid, or too flexible can cause foot pain, blisters, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and other foot deformities. Shoes that are not supportive or stable can also lead to ankle sprains, knee injuries, hip problems, and back pain. Shoes that are not breathable or hygienic can cause fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus.

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What to Look for When Buying Shoes for Kids?


When buying shoes for kids, there are some key factors to consider, such as:

  • Size: Kids’ feet grow fast, so it is important to measure their feet regularly and buy shoes that fit well. A good rule of thumb is to leave about a thumb’s width of space between the tip of the shoe and the longest toe, and to make sure the heel and the ball of the foot are snug but not tight. You can also check the shoe size by tracing your child’s foot on a piece of paper and comparing it with the shoe’s insole.
  • Shape: Kids’ feet come in different shapes and widths, so it is important to buy shoes that match their foot shape. Shoes that are too narrow or too wide can cause pressure points and friction on the feet. A good way to check the shoe shape is to place the shoe on top of your child’s foot and see if there are any gaps or overlaps. You can also look for shoes that have adjustable straps, laces, or velcro to accommodate different foot widths.
  • Material: Kids’ feet tend to sweat a lot, so it is important to buy shoes that are made of breathable and natural materials, such as leather, canvas, or mesh. Shoes that are made of synthetic or plastic materials can trap moisture and heat, and create a favorable environment for bacteria and fungi. You can also look for shoes that have removable and washable insoles to keep them clean and fresh.
  • Sole: Kids’ feet need flexibility and stability, so it is important to buy shoes that have a flexible and durable sole. Shoes that have a sole that is too stiff or too thin can hinder the natural movement of the foot and cause foot fatigue. Shoes that have a sole that is too soft or too thick can reduce the traction and balance of the foot and increase the risk of falls and injuries. You can test the sole flexibility by bending the shoe in half and seeing if it springs back. You can also look for shoes that have a rubber or non-slip sole to prevent slipping on wet or slippery surfaces.
  • Style: Kids’ shoes come in various styles and colors, and it is important to let your kids have a say in what they like and what they feel comfortable in. However, you should also make sure that the style of the shoe does not compromise the function and fit of the shoe. You should also avoid shoes that are hard to put on or take off, such as shoes that have zippers, buckles, or snaps. Instead, opt for shoes that are easy to wear, such as shoes that have velcro, slip-on, or elastic.

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How to Care for Your Kids’ Shoes?


Once you have bought the right shoes for your kids, you should also take good care of them and their feet. Here are some tips on how to do so:

  • Change shoes regularly: Kids’ shoes can wear out quickly, so it is advisable to change them every 6-12 months, or whenever they show signs of damage, such as holes, tears, or cracks. You should also have at least two pairs of shoes for your kids, and alternate them every day to allow them to air out and dry.
  • Clean shoes properly: Kids’ shoes can get dirty easily, so it is important to clean them properly and regularly. You can use a damp cloth, mild soap, and water to wipe off any dirt or stains from the shoes. You can also use a soft brush, baking soda, and vinegar to remove any odors or bacteria from the shoes. You should avoid using harsh chemicals, bleach, or detergents, as they can damage the shoes. You should also avoid putting the shoes in the dryer, as they can shrink or deform the shoes. Instead, let the shoes air dry in a cool and shaded place.
  • Check feet daily: Kids’ feet can develop problems quickly, so it is important to check them daily for any signs of injury, infection, or abnormality. You should look for any cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or pain on the feet. You should also look for any changes in the shape, size, or color of the nails, such as ingrown toenails, yellowing, or thickening. If you notice any of these signs, you should consult a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Choosing the right footwear for your kids is not only a matter of fashion, but also a matter of health. By following the tips above, you can help your kids have healthy and happy feet, and prevent foot problems in the future. If you have any questions or concerns about your kids’ feet or shoes, feel free to contact us at Leading Edge Podiatry. We are here to help!

If you would like to have us provide a clinical assessment and treatment you can see us at Leading Edge Podiatry (Formerly Complete Podiatry Blackwood). Feel free to book online or call us on 7120 6063! We look forward to helping your feet be pain free.

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